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    Tombe d’Alphonsine Plessis

    Novel heroine

    “Here lies Alphonsine Plessis, born 15th January, 1824, departed 3rd February, 1847”. A modest epitaph in Montmartre cemetery marks the grave of the most famous courtisan of the 19th century. She was the inspiration for « The Lady of the Camelias », by Alexandre Dumas the younger, and Verdi’s « La Traviata ». There are always flowers around her white tomb. A country girl from Orne, she started out as a modest milliner in Paris, before rising to fame as a courtisan. Under the name Marie Duplessis, she mixed with the toast of the art and literary world. She died, aged 23, of tubercolosis.